Spencer County Schools update: New faces, new goals this year

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By: Chuck Adams, Superintendent

Welcome back to Spencer County Schools everyone. As staff is actively preparing for the return of students, Spencer County Schools has once again been the topic of discussion throughout the state with recent advancements in student achievement and academic initiatives designed to assist our students in maximizing their learning potential.
Recently, I was informed of our standing as a result of the release of ACT scores. I am proud to announce that the emphasis on Career and College Readiness is beginning to pay dividends as Spencer County High School is at state average for the first time with a composite score of 19.2 while surpassing state average in various subjects.
Considering the recent improvements at SCHS, SCMS, and Hillview Academy combined with the “distinguished” rating of SCES and “proficient” rating of TES, the Spencer County School District was given an overall rating of “proficient” as a result of the latest testing cycle placing us with Oldham County as the only two districts to earn such a high distinction among the surrounding 15 districts that make up the Ohio Valley Educational Cooperative. Furthermore, this “proficient” rating is reserved for, and can only be granted to school districts rated in the upper 25 to 30 percent of all districts in the Commonwealth.  
As we begin the 2013-2014 school year, we welcome several new teachers, support staff, and administrators to the district. Among the most noticeable changes will be that of the people chosen to lead our elementary schools as a result of a thorough search and selection process by the SBDM Councils. Mark Thomas from Nelson County was chosen as principal of SCES as the summer began, and just recently TES completed a similar process by recommending MariAnn Arnold of Oldham County as the next principal of TES.
For those of you wondering about Mr. Abell, he is quite busy, but doing well in his new position as assistant superintendent for the district, and just last week I was informed that the council of SCES recommended Ashley Phillips be given the reigns as guidance counselor after the departure of Ms. Collins.
Given the quality of our new hires, along with the quality and experience of the returning staff, it is evident why Spencer County Schools continue to be a destination for families outside our district as enrollment continues to increase along with the academic standing of our schools.
As public education has taken on a new look in the state of Kentucky with the Common Core Curriculum, and other initiatives designed to prepare our students for global careers, staff and students are working diligently together to identify areas of concentration in order to individualize instruction to better meet their needs and areas of career interest. Riding the theme of College and Career Readiness, the Board of Education quickly recognized the need and supported the idea of creating a new health services position for our high school students interested in nursing and the medical field in general, and the board continues to support and fund dual credit options and the Summer Enrichment Academy designed to target the retention of vital information during the summer.
In addition, the Race to the Top grant that we are a part of will allow for a full-time career and college counselor to be placed at SCHS to assist students in fulfilling their goals as they prepare for life outside of our schools.
In closing, allow me to take a moment to reiterate the importance of establishing and fostering genuine relationships with those we serve on a daily basis. As a direct result of the emphasis placed on providing a nurturing environment conducive to student success, Spencer County Schools has shown vast improvements through the years due to the commitment of a magnificent teaching and support staff who strive to “Go the Distance for All Students.”
The educational landscape of Spencer County Schools appears to be a model for other regional districts as a result of your efforts, as well as the efforts of our parents, volunteers and supportive community in which we serve. Thank you for the opportunity to serve the children of Spencer County in this capacity as we strive to make continual and dramatic progress in the quality of education in Spencer County Schools. God bless, and best of luck on a productive year.

Contact Superintendent Chuck Adams at charles.adams@spencer.kyschools.us or by calling the Spencer County Schools Board of Education office at 502-477-3250.